By Jake Smith on Apr 24, 2015
“Siri, how does it feel to be a winner?”
A Chinese appeals court has put an end to a three year patent battle over Apple’s Siri voice recognition found on its iOS line. AFP reports that Apple has won an appeal in China over the patents, overturning an earlier decision that put Apple in the guilty chair. Read More
By Jake Smith on Jan 14, 2015
Apple is suing Swedish-based Ericsson over LTE wireless technology patents, reports Reuters. Apple claims Ericsson’s patents are not essential to industry cellular standards and that it is demanding excessive royalties for the patents. Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 25, 2014
A bill that requires all smartphones manufactured after July 1st of next year, and sold in California, to include a remote kill switch was signed into law this afternoon. Introduced in February of this year, the bill hopes to make mobile devices less attractive to criminals, as smartphone thefts have grown exponentially in recent years, in several major US cities.
Specifically, the new law requires that each handset prompt an authorized user during initial setup to enable a “technological solution” that, once initiated, can render the essential features of the device inoperable to an unauthorized user. The solution must be reversible, must be able to withstand a hard reset, and may consist of software, hardware, or both. Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 11, 2014
Earlier this year, California Senator Mark Leno introduced a new bill that would require cellphone makers to install ‘kill switches’ in all of their handsets, rendering them inoperable when stolen. The move comes as smartphone thefts continue to rise in major US cities.
Unsurprisingly, Leno’s bill won Senate approval by a vote of 27-8 today, meaning that it’s just one step away from becoming law in the state of California. All it needs now is Governor Jerry Brown’s signature, and device manufacturers will have essentially a year to comply… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jul 16, 2014
The Senate has passed a bill legalizing cellphone unlocking this week. The unanimous decision to pass the legislation, which was penned by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, came last night, and it will now move to the House and onto President Obama.
The bill reinstates a 2010 ruling by the Librarian of Congress so that consumers can ‘unlock’ their cell phones without worrying about copyright laws. It also directs Congress to consider whether other wireless devices, such as tablets, should be eligible for unlocking… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 26, 2014
Reuters is reporting that the US House has passed a bill that would allow mobile phone users to unlock their devices and use them on competitors’ wireless networks without repercussions, making the once ‘gray-area’ practice completely legal.
Before you get too excited, however, there are a few big asterisks. First, for the bill to be written into law it must also be approved by the Senate, which could take years or never happen. And two, the bill contains an exclusion for ‘bulk unlocking.’ Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 20, 2013
EU lawmakers agreed yesterday to draft legislation that will force all mobile phone manufacturers to consent to the use of a common standard for battery chargers which can fit any device. The draft could be voted on by the EU Parliament as early as March 2014.
While many see this as a huge win for consumers, who would no longer have to purchase new charging accessories for different devices, it would be a huge blow to Apple. The company uses a propriety plug, the Lightning connector, in all of its iOS product lines… Read More
By Cody Lee on May 10, 2013
Back in January, the mobile homebrew community suffered a major blow when several DMCA exemptions expired. Among them was a rule that made unlocking cellphones legal, effectively making the practice illegal here in the United States.
But it may not be that way for long. A new bill just landed in the House of Representatives called The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013, which, among other things, would make the process of unlocking your cellphone unequivocally legal… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 21, 2013
On January 26th of this year, the DMCA exemption that made unlocking your cell phone legal, expired, subsequently making the popular practice illegal. Now, folks who go about unlocking their handsets risk serious legal repercussions.
Obviously, people weren’t too happy with the way this played out, so an online petition was started to re-legalize unlocking. And as of today, that petition has surpassed 100,000 signatures, meaning the White House must issue a response… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 30, 2013
Cloud computing has really taken off in recent years as a cheap, flexible way for folks to store their documents and data. Apple’s iCloud service, for example, has garnered more than 250 million users in just a little over a year.
But while we’re all busy uploading our lives to the cloud, it’s worth mentioning that it’s not totally secure from prying eyes. A recently renewed Surveillance Act gives US authorities permission to access your data without a warrant… Read More